Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” emissions drama may have forever tarnished the diesel engine, but there is a silver lining. Volkswagen’s ‘Electrify America’ program, which is part of the diesel emissions settlement, has announced plans to spend at least $300 million to build EV charging stations across the U.S.
The charging stations are part of VW Group’s $2 billion settlement commitment and will see introduction of more than 450 charging stations in 11 major metropolitan areas. Electrify America will invest $2 billion over the next 10 years in Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure and education programs in the U.S. $1.2 billion will be invested in states other than California, while $800 million will be invested in California, one of the largest zero emissions markets.
“Electrify America aims to establish one of the largest, most technically advanced and customer-friendly charging networks in the US,” stated Mark McNabb, CEO of Electrify America. “Our investments will make it easier and faster for millions of Americans to charge their electric vehicles while encouraging more drivers to explore and embrace electric driving.”
Construction on the new charging stations is expected to start in the second half of 2017 and Electrify America hopes to have all of them up and running by 2019. The stations will offer 150 kW and 320 kW fast chargers that will provide quick 15-20 minute charging times.